Readers, what are your thoughts on self-tanners? I haven’t considered them for a looong time for some reason, but this year, during a rare trip to a CVS, I saw this Jergens “gradual tan” lotion, and it had the Allure stamp of approval, so I grabbed it. Why haven’t I been doing this all this time? I wondered.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with pale legs! You do you. I’ve been trying to expand my collection of shorts to “more colorful” varieties, and I feel like tanned legs might help me feel more confident.)
So one morning, I got out of my shower and happily applied the lotion all over my legs and upper arms. I hope it isn’t streaky or too orange, I thought.
Well, the good news is, it was not streaky at all — and in fact it’s such a gradual tan that if my legs got a bit darker it really isn’t noticeable. Which I’m ok with because I feel more tan, if that makes sense? (Clearly photographs would have been helpful.)
The BAD news is that I instantly remembered why I have historically hated self-tanners — the SMELL. To my nose, I smelled like “dirty feet” all day, and, frankly, it bugged the bejesus out of me.
Upon some research, I discovered that the smell is the chemical reaction happening as the self-tanner hits your skin… so it’s essential to the process. But! I found advice on the internet that suggested putting the self-tan lotion on before bed and letting it dry… and I am HAPPY to report that that seems to work, and the smell goes away in the morning after a shower. (Apparently the chemicals need to be on your skin for 6–10 hours.) Because it’s been so cold, it hasn’t been a big deal, but I suspect my technique needs a bit of help since there is now a slightly dark stripe on my shin.
So let’s discuss, readers — what are your favorite self-tanners? I checked old threads and have linked some of the products mentioned there below, but I figured it would be good for a newer discussion. (Ah, and here’s a 2017 discussion from the readers about self-tanner vs. pantyhose.) Do you have tips on application technique or products? (I’ve been using one of those exfoliating gloves.) (Ah, and it looks like Jergens has some self-tanning tips on their website.)
The Jergens lotion I got is around $9 at CVS, Walmart, Amazon, Target, and your local drugstore. (I know readers had mentioned the Jergens in-shower lotion, and upon looking now, Target also has a “three days to glow” product from Jergens as well.)
Some of the self-tanning products readers mentioned in previous threads:
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